Fibromyalgia is an uncomfortable disorder affecting over 3 million people in the U.S. each year.
Characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and subsequent mood, memory, and sleep issues, the disorder can be managed, but unfortunately, there is no cure.
In recent years, the use of CBD oil fibromyalgia and other conditions characterized by chronic pain has gained popularity because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects.
Since there is no way to eradicate the condition entirely, the promise of using a natural, pharmaceutical-free compound like CBD may be life-changing for some.
How CBD Oil Fibromyalgia Can Help
Using CBD oil for fibromyalgia pain is an increasingly popular choice amongst subjects looking to self-manage their chronic pain.
The potential of finally finding relief from sometimes unbearable pain is enough to try this cannabis oil for fibromyalgia pain, and better yet, CBD may help ease subsequent symptoms of the condition, like fatigue and mood issues.
To understand the connection between CBD and fibromyalgia, you’ll need to know about the endocannabinoid system, where CBD’s magic takes place.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex series of receptors and agonists that work together to deliver messages across the body. The system interacts with both cannabinoids made in the body (endocannabinoids) as well as external cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids), such as CBD or THC.
The role of the endocannabinoid system is essentially keeping everything in balance and working as it should in order to maintain homeostasis. If something is out of whack in the endocannabinoid system, this delicate balance is lost, and different symptoms may occur.
CBD works on our endocannabinoid system, restoring balance in areas that may be disordered and providing relief for a number of symptoms.
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Fibromyalgia and CBD oil may be a beneficial pairing because using CBD may help restore balance in the body, relieving some of the tenderness and pain associated with the condition. Let’s dig a little deeper into why:
CBD’s Role In Perception of Fibromyalgia Pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers believe painful sensations are amplified in those with fibromyalgia because of the way their brain is processing pain signals. Interestingly enough, CBD is known to regulate the way our bodies process pain.
In a 2017 rodent study, rats were subjected to a model of incision pain, and they all experienced painful sensations to light tough as a result.
This became less intense after receiving CBD. Rats who received the placebo-surgery received a non-rewarding dose that actually became rewarding for incised rats, most likely due to the reduction of pain experienced.
Similarly, a 2011 study found that cannabis, which naturally contains CBD, relieved pain for many fibromyalgia sufferers within hours. However, this study was conducted with cannabis containing THC, which may contribute to some of the pain relief. More conclusive human studies on CBD oil for fibromyalgia need to occur.
Anandamide, derived from the Sanskrit word for “bliss” is a neurotransmitter that binds to cannabinoid receptors. When we experience pain, anandamide binds to our cannabinoid receptors, specifically CB1, and reduces pain by blocking pain signaling.
Unfortunately, anandamide’s effects are short-lived, and the body processes it quickly. The pain-nulling effects of this neurotransmitter can actually be extended by the incorporation of CBD, because it enhances anandamide signaling.
By using CBD, fibromyalgia sufferers can potentially increase their anandamide signals, effectively nullifying their pain perception.
How To Use CBD Oil Fibromyalgia
CBD can be taken four different ways: orally, sublingually, topically, or inhaled through the lungs. Taking CBD orally is an easy enough method, and can be done using oils, capsules, and infused edibles. Similarly, sublingual CBD can be taken under the tongue and held for around a minute, using tinctures, oils, mouth sprays, and pastes.
Smoking CBD is also an option, though smoking is never a good choice for healthy lungs. Inhaling CBD will cause very immediate effects, though they will wear off quicker.
Topical use should be saved for localized pain, such as achy muscles and joints. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, topicals may be good for targeting specific problem areas, though taking it orally or sublingually is your best bet for finding overall balance and relief.
Dosages vary by person, and you’ll need to try it out for yourself to see what your sweet spot is. Topicals may provide near immediate relief to localized areas, and taking a capsule or oil orally will typically mean relief in around 30 minutes.
What Else Can CBD Help With?
CBD can help with several conditions, but most notably, it’s used for:
- Chronic Pain
- Digestive Issues
- Skin Conditions
Fortunately for those using CBD to manage fibromyalgia pain, some of the accompanying symptoms of fibromyalgia, like sleep problems, mood issues, and fatigue, may also be improved by cannabidiol.
Fibromyalgia patients are often prescribed antidepressants or anti-seizure medications. Interestingly enough, depression and seizures are two other conditions CBD may target.
How to Pick the Right CBD Fibromyalgia Pain
With its rising popularity, it’s extremely important to pay attention to the quality of the CBD you’re considering buying. For example, if you want to use a hemp oil for fibromyalgia, make sure you’re looking at a hemp-derived CBD and not just hemp oil, which does not contain cannabidiol but often confuses first-time consumers.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing CBD oil for fibromyalgia pain or any other condition:
If you come across extremely cheap CBD oil, you’re going to get what you pay for. It may feel too good to be true, and the catch is that cheap CBD companies often use cheap extraction methods to pull the cannabidiol out of their plants.
This is detrimental to the consumer because extracting with cheap methods which often use harmful solvents like butane or propane can lead to harmful toxins in the final product.
If CBD is sourced from a reputable place with healthy soil, the product will reflect it. Some companies still choose to source from poor soil because they can save money, while disregarding the potential of the plants absorbing heavy metals and other toxins from the ground.
Make sure you know where your CBD comes from before buying it.
Look for third-party lab results providing solid proof that the CBD is free of toxins and contains the legal amount of THC (below .03%)
The Bottom Line
So, does CBD help fibromyalgia? According to several anecdotal accounts, it helps many find relief from their chronic pain. Definitive research on the topic still needs to be conducted for a clearer picture, but as of now, many are using it to find relief.
CBD acts on anandamide, a neurotransmitter responsible for the processing of pain. Anandamide essentially blocks pain signaling in the body by binding to the cannabinoid receptor CB1. Its effects are short-lived, unless something like CBD enters and helps prolong anandamide signaling, effectively reducing pain perception.
Fibromyalgia sufferers who also experience mood changes, fatigue, sleep issues, and other symptoms may also benefit from using CBD to manage subsequent symptoms of their condition.
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